Keep Your Bottle - Go for 30p Litre; Milk Prices 'Here to Stay'

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Byline: By ANDREW FORGRAVE Rural Affairs Editor

MILK PRODUCERS have a once-in-a-life-time opportunity to put their businesses on a sustainable footing, a meeting of 120 North Wales farmers heard.

Recent shock rises in milk prices are here to stay for the foreseeable future and could reach 30p/litre by Christmas, quota specialist Ian Potter told an audience at Llysfasi College, Ruthin.

"If you're not getting 25p by October 1, you should be asking serious questions," he said.

"We have waited 10 hard years for this and now's the time to enjoy it. This isn't a whirlwind payment - you haven't won the Lottery - you've earned it.

"At the same time you must stay in control of costs, cut waste and focus on profit - it's not dirty to make a profit."

The meeting had been arranged by the Dairy Development Centre and the Farmers Union of Wales before milk prices started climbing.

Milk output fell again in August but quota values more than doubled as dairy farmers looked to protect themselves against a surge in production driven by better milk returns.

Dairy farmers produced 1.064bn litres and, after months of dormancy, quota values jumped from about 1.5p/litre to nearly 5p/litre.

Worldwide milk shortages, caused by climate extremes and rising demand in China, have been blamed for the price rises.

Anglesey dairy farmer and FUW vice-president Eifion Huws said producers were in a "beautiful situation". …